Most parents struggle when it comes to implementing a system of discipline for their children. However, children need discipline in order to fully understand the consequences of their actions and prevent them from repeating behavior that is harmful to themselves and others. Here is a list of ways you can discipline your child effectively and give them the tools they need to become responsible and mature adults.
Let Your Child Know What is Expected of Them
Children rely on their parents to help them distinguish right from wrong. Set up a list of house rules. Make sure your child knows what is expected of them and what will happen if they break the rules.
If you child breaks the rule, be sure to issue a warning before implementing a punishment. Let him know what he has done and why his behavior is unacceptable.
Use Time Outs
If your child continues to engage in inappropriate behavior, put him in time-out. Set aside a section of your house - a corner in the family room or a spot on the staircase. Designate this spot as the "naughty" place and set your child there. Explain to him why he is there. Keep your child there for a minute for every year of his age. It's important not to argue with your child while he is in the naughty spot. Time outs are an effective discipline tool because they remove your child from the action. It may be difficult but ignore your child's screams and pleas. After his time is up, go over to your child and explain to him again why he is being punished. Ask for an apology, give your kid a kiss and then let him resume playing. If you kid repeats the bad behavior, don't be afraid to place him in time-out for a second time.
Take Away a Toy
If you're not a fan of the time-out technique, try a different approach. If your child is behaving badly, issue a warning. Explain why his behavior is unacceptable and threaten to take away a toy or revoke a privilege if the behavior continues. If your child continues to misbehave, take away his favorite toy for a set amount of time. After the allotted time, explain to your child why you took away the toy and ask him to apologize.
No matter what disciplinary action you take, it's important to always follow-through. Your child needs to know that your are serious about stopping bad behavior. If you yell a bunch of empty threats and you never follow-through with any punishment, your child will take advantage of your inconsistency. You want to show your child that certain actions carry consequences and if they break the rules they will be punished.
Children are constantly finding ways to test the boundaries you've defined for them. Staying consistent and firm is difficult work. You may feel like screaming, but it's important to keep your cool. Let your child know that you are in control.